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Nijmegen researchers win prize for research into ‘Huh’

THE NETHERLANDS. Three researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen have won one of this year’s Ig Nobel prizes – for discovering that the word ‘huh’ or similar sounding words are used in almost every language.

Mark Dingemanse, Francisco Torreira and Nick Enfield were awarded the Ig Nobel prize for literature for their paper ‘Is “Huh?” a Universal Word? Conversational Infrastructure and the Convergent Evolution of Linguistic Items’.

The authors were unable to attend the ceremony at Harvard University and sent a video acceptance speech. They will receive their prize at a special event in Amsterdam on October 3: The European Ig Nobel Show.

The aim of the Ig Nobel prizes is to focus on what the organisers call improbable research – research that makes people laugh and then think.


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